Breakups, separation, and divorce get even more complicated when there are children involved. But what are the disqualifications for child custody?
Although shared custody is becoming the norm, it isn’t a given.
If the court finds you guilty of certain actions that compromise the wellbeing of your child, they may easily grant your ex-spouse sole custody.
If you’re involved in a child custody dispute, it’s essential that you know what the common disqualifications for child custody are.
This can prevent you from inadvertently ruining your chances of custody. If your ex-spouse is guilty of one of these transgressions, it can also give you additional grounds for proving that you are the more capable parent.
Continue reading to find out what factors can disqualify a parent for child custody in Texas.
Under Texas child custody law, and including Webster, TX, both parents have equal rights to custody. However, the most important factor that influences the court’s ruling is the wellbeing of the child. This is their guiding star when it comes to determining custody arrangements.
If a parent has neglected a child, this stands heavily in their disfavor.
Physical neglect can encompass a range of things, including:
- Lack of food
- Lack of shelter
- Inadequate clothing
- Lack of quality supervision
- Lack of amenities
There are also varying levels of severity of neglect, which courts will take into account when determining custody.
For instance, if you failed to feed your child, this will be taken very seriously by the courts. On the other hand, if your electricity went off for a short time, this isn’t likely to qualify as neglect.
Another form of physical neglect is failing to provide a child with quality care when you are absent. For instance, leaving a small child with a very young babysitter, or an elderly neighbor who has vision or hearing problems could constitute as neglect.
If a parent has physically abused one or more of their children, this is very likely to prevent them from being able to win child custody in Texas.
Providing that there is proof of abuse, courts are very unlikely to grant an abusive parent custody. Therefore, this is one of the top disqualifications for child custody.
In most states “spanking” for disciplining purposes is considered acceptable. In Texas, “reasonable corporal punishment” is legal, which means you can spank your child for discipline reasons, but not with the intention to cause harm or injury.
What’s more, bruises, pain, or inability to sit down after corporal punishment is not acceptable under Texas law, and constitutes abuse.
Another of the possible disqualifications for child custody in Texas is drug use. This applies to both recreational and medical drugs.
The main aim of the court is to determine whether you are able to care for your child when they are in your custody. If your actions and mental processes are impaired through drug use, this could lead to inability to adequately care for a child.
For instance, someone who is on strong very opioids probably won’t be able to look after a small child. They may fall asleep when the child needs them, or be unable to carry out activities like preparing food.
Recreational drug use can have similar impacts. Even if a parent abstains from taking drugs while caring for their child, the long-term effects of addiction could impact their ability to provide proper care.
Do you want to get full custody of your child? If so, do you know of any instances when your ex abandoned him or her?
Child abandonment is one of the disqualifications for child custody in Texas, as it shows a lack of ability, or will, on the part of the parent to provide care.
Abandonment can take various forms. These include:
- Abandoning a child at daycare or with a carer
- Abandoning a child at birth
- Abandoning the biological mother during pregnancy
- Not choosing to support a child financially
- Dropping a child off at an emergency placement center and not indicating that you plan to return for the child
In most cases, abandonment needs to be for an extended period of time. For instance, arriving late to pick up your child from daycare because you were in a no-fault car accident is not likely to cause child custody issues.
Education is one of the basic needs children have. Withholding education is another of the potential disqualifications for child custody under Texas law.
If you keep your child out of school, this could cause you to lose child custody in Texas.
Take note, however, that this does not apply if you do homeschooling. Texas law allows parents to homeschool, providing that you follow the Texas homeschooling laws.
Previous Parental Rights Termination
If your parental rights have previously been terminated, this will disallow you from gaining child custody in Texas.
For instance, if your parental rights over a different child were revoked, you won’t be able to win child custody in Texas over a child who you still have parental rights over.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s essential that you seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in child custody legal services.
Disobeying Court Orders
Besides these disqualifications for child custody, failing to follow court orders is another action that can cause a parent to lose child custody in Texas.
After divorce, the court might require you to perform certain actions. These could be things like:
- Attending anger management classes
- Attending counseling
- Undergoing drug rehabilitation
- Taking parenting classes
If you fail to follow court orders, this can cause you to lose custody rights.
Breaking court orders around the custody arrangements for your child can also cause the court to revoke custody. For instance, if you return your child late to the other parent, this is one of the potential disqualifications for child custody in Texas.
Do You Need an Attorney to Help You Navigate Disqualifications for Child Custody in Texas?
As you can see there are various things that are potential disqualifications for child custody in the state of Texas.
Whether you’re trying to fight against a spouse who wants to get full custody and will stop at nothing, it’s essential you understand what could be used against you. On the other hand, if you need to get full custody to ensure the wellbeing of your children, you also need to know what behaviors on the part of your ex can help you in court.
If you are experiencing child custody issues, you always need an attorney in your corner. Otherwise, things could go horribly wrong.
Contact us today to get the help you need.